Client Relationship Partners: Leader/Motivator/Diplomat/Strategist and Sector specialist

Client Relationship Partners: Leader/Motivator/Diplomat/Strategist and Sector specialist

Following on from last month's post ‘Uncertain times call for a focus on key clients’, Kevin Wheeler looks at the range of roles a Client Relationship Partner must now fulfill.

If your firm’s Key Account Management (KAM) programme is to be a success, you will need to ensure that the right people have been appointed as Client Relationship Partners (CRPs) for each key client. These CRPs will be responsible for the overall success of the firm's long-term relationship with each key client.

Just because a particular partner has been involved with a client for many years (or, indeed, has the highest billables with that client, or went to school with one of the client’s key decision-makers etc.) doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is the best choice as CRP.

Choosing CRPs

When establishing or ‘refreshing’ a KAM programme, firms need to review all CRP appointments or, where such roles do not exist, vet all new appointments to ensure that the best people are in position. CRPs should be chosen based on a number of factors, including:

  • The strength of their relationships with the client’s key decision-makers.
  • Their tact and diplomacy in managing the interfaces between these decision-makers and the firm’s lawyers.
  • Their experience in handling legal issues faced by the client.
  • Their experience of the client’s industry.
  • Their ability to lead and motivate the firm’s team.
  • Their availability given their other client commitments.

Senior Management will almost certain

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About the author:

Kevin Wheeler has been advising professional services firms on all aspects of marketing and business development for nearly 30 years. As a consultant he helps firms to manage and grow their key clients as well as to win new ones. As a certified coach with WABC he works with partners and those approaching partnership to improve their BD skills.